PP of Kunio Hoshi, Khadem murder cases missing

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Rangpur, Mar 31: A public prosecutor (PP) of Japanese national Kunio Hoshi and Khadem Rahmat Ali murder cases went missing on Friday morning, his family members claimed.Protesting the “disappearance” of Advocate Rathish Chandra Bhowmik, locals blocked Rangpur-Kurigram road in Tajhat area of Rangpur and also formed a human chain there this morning.

He was the prosecution witness in the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam.

Rathish Chandra, 55, went missing 12 days after the verdict of Khadem Rahmat Ali murder case, in which seven JMB men were awarded death penalty.

He went out of his house wearing Panjabi and pajama around 6.00am on Friday and since then he is missing, his wife Dipa Bhowmik said adding that his mobile phone has been switched off, she said.

Before going out of his house, he told his family members that he would return home within an hour.

Family members verbally informed Rangpur police about his disappearance last night, reports agency.

Contacted, Saifur Rahman, additional superintendent of police in Rangpur told our correspondent that police are trying to find him.

Rathish Chandra is general secretary of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote of Rangpur unit, treasurer of district Lawyers Association and law affairs secretary of Rangpur Awami League and also a trusty of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Okya Parishad in Rangpur.

Rathish Chandra was the public prosecutor of Japanese National Kunio Hoshi and Khadem Rahmat Ali, who were killed in Kaunia upazila of Rangpur on October 3 and November 10 in 2015 respectively.

The special judge court of Rangpur sentenced five members of militant Islamist outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh to death in Japanese national Kunio Hoshi murder case on February 28 last year while the same court convicted seven JMB militants to death for killing Khadem Rahmat Ali on March 18 this year.

Rathish Chandra was the 13th prosecution witness in the war crimes case against Jamaat leader Azharul Islam.

On May 18, 2014, he gave testimony before the International Crimes Tribunal-1 about how narrowly his father had escaped death when the Pakistan occupation army accompanied by Azharul Islam, the then Islami Chhatra Sangha president of Rangpur town, shot him during the Liberation War.

His maternal uncle Shanti Chaki was killed in the same incident on April 14, 1971, according to Rathish Chandra.

In December 2014, the tribunal handed down death penalty to the Jamaat leader and his appeal against the verdict is now pending with the Supreme Court.